Representative White had two bills voted on in committees this week. HB 1801 Rapid Response to State Disasters passed in the Special Standing Committee on Small Business 16-0. This bill establishes the Facilitating Business Rapid Response to State Declared Disasters Act, making it easier for utility companies to bring in workers from out of state to help communities that are declared disasters by the Governor or President. HB 1147 Adoption Proceedings was also voted “Do Pass” in the Judiciary Committee. This bill requires a checklist form to be completed prior to finalizing an adoption which verifies that all adoption which verifies that all documents and procedures have been submitted, followed, and reviewed by the judge.
On Thursday, HB 1156 Money Follows the Person Program passed 148-0. This bill creates a committee to decide if the Money Follows the Person Demonstration Program is sustainable after September 30, 2018. The Money Follows the Person Program supports Missourians who have disabilities and those who are aging to transition from nursing facilities or habilitation centers to quality community settings. HB 1902 Presidential Primary passed 97-48. This bill changes the presidential primary date from the first Tuesday after the first Monday in March. HB 1610 Alternative Fuel Tax Credit passed 91-54. This bill reauthorizes the alternative fuel tax credit. The cumulative amount of tax credits that may be claimed cannot exceed $1 million in any calendar year. Electric vehicle recharging properties are added to the list of eligible properties for tax credits. This bill was amended to specify that the license of a trailer must be permanent until the owner of the trailer sells, trades, or disposes of the trailer. Representative White voted against the tax credit.
House Budget Passed out of Committee
The K-12 education budget is the largest in the State’s history with a $278 million increase for the Foundation Formula. There will also be $1 million increase to the Parents as Teachers Program. The Missouri Preschool Program in unaccredited and provisionally accredited districts received $8.2 million. Reading programs in unaccredited and provisionally accredited districts received $3.5 million. The House Budget Committee added an additional 1% to higher education bringing the total increase 3%. The budget contains the largest expansion of the Bright Flight scholarship in the history of the State with a new forgivable loan program. If you are a high school senior and score in the top 3% on the ACT or SAT, you will now be eligible for both the $2500 scholarship and a forgivable loan that will cover your entire tuition and fees at any public university in Missouri if you commit to staying and working in the State upon graduation. A+ scholarships are fully funded, and the Committee added a 20% increase in Access Missouri Scholarships.
The House Budget Committee increased funding by $4.8 million to Tourism and increased funding to Missouri Technology Corporation by $5 million. $4.5 million for matching funds was allotted to Early Stage Business development Grants, and Certified Work Ready Communities received $150,000. Kansas City will receive $4 million if they host the 2016 Republican National Convention.
Moving Missouri Forward
State employees received a 1% cost of living pay raise, and $25 per month deferred compensation match. The House Budget Committee eliminated the Development Disabilities waitlist, and provided money for an extra day of courier service to the state lab and money for the lab to run on the weekends for newborn screening test results. Dental coverage was expanded to adult Medicaid recipients to cut down on emergency room visits. The Biodiesel incentive fund was allocated $7.2 million.
For Your Information
Veterans Home Care offers the VetAssist® Program, which helps qualifying wartime veterans or surviving spouses access a little-known VA benefit known as “Aid and Attendance”. Clients begin home care when their pension application is submitted to the VA with no out of pocket costs. VetAssist® Program clients also receive continuing case management and compliance monitoring to help ensure they keep their full pension, and their home care. Veterans Home Care has helped more than 7,000 elderly, indigent wartime veterans or their surviving spouses since its founding in 2003. For more information, contact Veterans Home Care at 877-390-6377 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Missouri’s No Call List
The Missouri’s No Call Law has been expanded to cover personal cell phones in addition to residential land lines. Missourians may now register their cell phone numbers by going towww.ago.mo.gov or by phone at 1-866-662-2551.